A Guide to Evaluating Software Composition Analysis Tools

The Linux Foundation has published a new open source guide by Ibrahim Haddad to help organizations evaluate the tools used to “track and analyze any open source code brought into a project from a licensing compliance and security vulnerabilities perspective.” 

Such tools, Haddad says, can discover open source code and associated dependencies, identify the various licenses in place, and find known security vulnerabilities and potential exploits. 

The guide outlines several evaluation metrics, including:

  • Knowledge base
  • Detection capabilities
  • Ease of use
  • Security vulnerabilities database
  • Deployment models
  • Associated costs
  • Reporting capabilities

Within each category, Haddad details specific points to consider, such as:

  • Size of the knowledge base
  • Major repositories tracked
  • Source languages in scope
  • Speed of source code scans
  • Verification and ranking of results

To select the right tool, you’ll need to identify and consider the features and capabilities that are most important for your specific environment and needs.